its not pointless -- its just not for you. We put these systems in lots of houses and when they are done right they make complicated systems very simple to use. Most of our projects have 8-16 rooms with digital music, video networks that can put any source on any TV and simple remote controls that make the whole thing work. It aint cheap, but done correctly you can make these systems work for competing viewpoints of husbands and wives. Typically husbands love tech -- dont mind seeing a stack of equipment in a room and see it as a normal part of everyday life that they need 3 remotes to watch a movie. Wives want to see the stuff disappear -- which is why you put speakers in the ceiling and have touchpads control music instead of having a stereo stack in each room you might want to listen to music in. These systems also let you have a nice clean look in media rooms. Most of our projects we put every piece of equipment in a server rack and control it all via RF remotes. This lets you just put a TV over the fireplace -- or just have a plasma and in wall speakers in the family room without having to cram a bunch of stuff into a piece of furniture you didnt want in the room. This is not for everybody -- but to our customers ease of use and aesthetics are important and they are willing to pay for them. Now there is a DIY crowd out there trying to use home depot quality stuff and x-10 tech. If this is all you look at, you will think the field hasnt moved in decades. The enthusiast market is filled with incomplete solutions and hacker tech. It may be fun to play with, but it aint wife friendly and it wont be reliable. This group tends to get overly focused on the cost of the gear and has very high expectations of performance ( this is from my viewpoint as a professional in the space ) As a company weve stayed away from projects where people want to use x-10 level of gear. Lastly -- and way off topic -- but there is some chatter about wifi growing up to handle these tasks. I'd put that at not likely with the current state of that spec. Its fine for laptops roaming around the house, but its too unreliable for home automation where it needs to work 100% of the time. We try to have anything that needs that kind of connectivity have a dedicated ethernet or we never really trust it. Its not all wifi's fault -- the embedded device code for wifi that is in most touch panels and equipment in the automation space has no clue how to handle a multi channel wifi network where it might roam -- this makes it pretty bad for what most people expect of it.